Let's Talk... Sumter SC Real Estate Maintenance While Under Contract

Posted By Kim PeasleyParker @ Sep 9th 2019 9:00am In: Seller Information


Recently while working with a seller of a vacant property, I told the seller one last thing needed to be done and that was to have the grass mowed prior to closing. The seller asked why that needed to be done. When the buyer and seller reach an agreement using South Carolina Realtor® Form 310 “Agreement/Contract: To Buy and Sell Real Estate (Residential)”, buried in paragraph 3 is the following;

“Seller agrees to maintain in operable condition the Property and any personal property conveying in same operable condition, including any landscaping, grounds and any agreed upon repairs or replacements, from the Effective Date through Closing subject to normal operable wear and tear.”1


What does that mean to the seller? Basically, that the seller will maintain the property and any items transferring with the property until closing. This includes:


·        Yard Maintenance (grass, shrubs, trees, concrete, everything within the property)

·        Appliances

·        Ceiling Fans/Lights/Light Bulbs

·        HVAC System

·        Plumbing

·        Electrical System

·        Structural items (doors, windows, locks, roofing, etc)

·        Anything remaining in the house at closing


Unfortunately, things happen, I was selling a house and the trash compactor broke. We bought a new one. The same house, a week before closing, lightening hit a tree next to the house and it fried the sprinkler system control box. Yes, we had to replace it! I won’t say that it didn’t hurt putting out that money for those items, but it had to be done to stay within the contract.


Let’s say the 10-year-old refrigerator suddenly stops working and it isn’t feasible to repair. Can you negotiate with the buyer? SOMETIMES. The replacement must be of a like model and age normally. Depending on the buyer, they may want to cash equivalent and purchase a new model with the tablet in the door. That doesn’t mean you as the seller must provide that model to them. But the seller must provide a refrigerator of like size, model and condition. Unless otherwise agreed upon with the buyer. And always, always, always, put that in writing!


One last thought, if you have an item that is on its last leg or you don’t want to include it in the maintenance, exclude it in the Agreement. I’m not talking about HVAC or large items, chances are the buyers won’t agree to that. But smaller items, that may be a matter of personal preference or that are very old (like an intercom system in the house).


If you have any questions, please put it in the comments below. And if you need a Realtor to put your home “Under Contract” give me a call. I will be happy to help you get from For Sale to Sold.



1Based Upon South Carolina Realtor Association Form 310 September 2017

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